Man, can I just say that two weeks without a p-day is a really long time! I made it to Sacramento though! My flight was a little rough because I missed my connecting flight...yeah that was fun. Basically I ended up making quite the entrance because I was the last one to arrive so I missed all the training on the first day so everyone wanted to talk to me so I could get caught up on what I missed. I also got to be picked up by President and Sister Jardine at the airport and got them all to myself for an hour (which is quite rare I hear). They are the nicest people and I already feel like one of the reasons I am here in Sacramento is because of them. They really view us all as an extension of their family. I am so excited to work with them for the next year and a half.
So my first area here in Sacramento is the Manteca area. It is about an hour and a half south of Sacramento. I am already loving it here! The people are so kind. My companion/trainer is Hermana Poulsen. She is from Montana and has been out in the field for almost 10 months. She is awesome! We have been really busy this last week because half of our area is new for us. I like being busy though because it makes the days go by so fast!
So I am actually grateful that I get to write to you all on Thanksgiving and express my gratitude to each of you and to my Savior. Even though it is a little hard knowing that I won't get to be with my families this holiday season I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be out here doing the Lords work. There isn't anywhere else I would rather be. This week I have been thinking a lot about missionary work and how truly important it is. I have been thinking a lot about those members of my family and friends who are not active in the church or who are not members. Being out in the field has really made me realize the urgency of the work and how it is not just for full time missionaries. It is for all of us, every day, at all times. One night as I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep I was thinking about Heaven and about all of the people that will be there. That lead me to think then about how sad it would be if any of my family or friends was missing. How sad would that be if I, or anyone of us got up there and had to explain to our grandparents, or the family members of our friends why there were people missing. I know that people have there agency but at the same time I was thinking about all those people I know and how many of them might be inactive or may not have joined the church simply because no one has asked them to come back or because we haven't shared the message of the gospel with them. I listed to a talk by this lady this week (I don't know here name) but it was about missionary work. She talked about members and missionaries and how they have different roles in missionary work. As full time missionaries it is our job to teach people and help them to have a spiritual conversion. As member missionaries it is our job to help them meet the missionaries (being sneaky is allowed, and encouraged). Basically we need to open our mouths because if we don't how else are they going to hear about the wonderful message of Jesus Christ and his gospel. The challenge I have for all of you this holiday season is to open your mouths. Invite people to church, to activities, to your houses for FHE, dinner, whatever and then make sure the missionaries are there too! The church also just came out with a video for Christmas called He is the Gift. It is wonderful and can be such a good tool for missionary work. Share it! I know that if we open our mouths we will see miracles happen in the lives of our friends and families!
I am so grateful for my family and for this gospel and for the knowledge I have that through the ordinances and teachings of the gospel I can be with them forever. I'm also grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for His Atonement. I'm grateful that through the Atonement I can become a better person and that I can work towards becoming the person that God would have me be.
I love you all so much and I'm grateful for all of the support each of you has given me throughout my life and as I've been on my mission. I am so blessed!